Note: This Post is part of the series “Studies in Mark” see the Series Index for other posts in this series.
1And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” 6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—11“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”— Mark 2:1 – 12 (ESV)
So we made it to verse five and had to break it off. Jesus forgave the paralytic and then healed him, I stated, for one purpose: to Glorify God the Father. Here’s what I mean…. The scribes have shown up too. We aren’t told this until v.6 and we are told that they were ‘sitting there, questioning in their hearts.’ There are a lot of people I have met who know the Bible well. They are quite familiar with it in fact, but they always question it. They always attempt to bend it to their agenda. They come to it with something they want to support from scripture and then would like to shape it rather than be shaped by it.
But they got it right. The scribes are generally cast in a negative light because they were so stiff necked but they get the question right here: “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
And that is the question we all must answer. Everyone who is honest knows they do things that are wrong. I know that the world allows us to adjust our morals as the situation requires but the reality is that no one is perfect. The Bible says “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” it’s in the Book of Romans in the Bible and it’s your homework. Look it up.
And now we come to the reason for it all in v.10. “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—and he heals the man. And because of the ruckus of this fellow coming in through the roof and ‘cutting in line’ you can be sure that everyone knew he had arrived and had seen Jesus. There was no doubt about it as he walked out. See? The miracles have a purpose. They’re not just flash in the pan or just for show or to drive up your offerings. They drive his points home that he was something special, something different and all they had to do was have ‘ears to hear’. And he even tells them that he was the ‘Son of Man’ something that the scribes had to pick up on almost immediately.
But I don’t think these folks did. They were so focused on the show that they missed the hearing part. In v.12 they prove it “We never SAW anything like this!” [caps mine]
And here’s the other thing that we miss a lot today. The miracle wasn’t focused on the man who was healed. Jesus didn’t say, “Here’s how you know that you’re saved” when he healed him. Jesus wasn’t giving him evidence of his faith, OK? In v.10 and 11 Jesus says “10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—11“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” The focus was on ‘the Son of Man’. Jesus was answering the question the real question they had in their hearts: “Who is this guy?” He was God. Who can forgive sins but God alone?
No one can. That’s the answer you should be looking for
Other posts in this series.